August 20, 2017
Thanks to Ellen for asking when we were going sailing today. I had thought about going out either in the morning or afternoon, and I was sitting outside reading the paper when Ellen asked when we were going out. That prompted me to head to the computer to check the hourly forecast, where I discovered that the winds would be fine for the morning and non-existent for the afternoon. We took that cue and headed out within 15 minutes.
There wasn’t too much action on the water as we headed out, and I knew it would take us awhile to hit the bay, but no matter. On perhaps our second shift in direction back toward the river versus the bay, we encountered what must have been a pod of dolphins.
This was awesome! They just swam around silently all around us. Eventually, we turned away back into the bay and finally made it. In fact we made it all the way to the bell buoy which is a fair distance away from West Basin, a little over 3 nautical miles as we were sailing.
The wind was pretty high out there, probably 10 mph, and the wake and chop was uncomfortable. We were thankful that we both took the motion sickness medicine before heading out. And it was annoying that our top speed for that day was only about 4.5 knots, even with me adjusting the sails. I’m not sure if I didn’t do it properly or not, but I was trying to balance the sails. There was a good deal of weather helm however, so I know I still have a lot to learn.
We turned around at the bell buoy and made our way back toward the marina even as the wind continued to lessen, and in fact not long into the river from the bay the river died completely, so Hercules was deployed for a while to get us home, and that happened very smoothly.
A lot of boats were just heading out as we were coming in, and I’m happy Ellen asked me that original question, because it gave us a great morning and early afternoon on the water. A definite win.
Engine 50 minutes
Sails Full sails and reefed sails
Chop, current Medium
Wind Up to 10 and down to 0
Time 4 hours